How to make homemade chicken-vegetable soup like a real Southerner

BY PATSY R. BRUMFIELD – THE SOUTHFACIN’ COOK 

Cold weather just sets my soup-cooking emotions to stirring.

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

After a look into my post-Thanksgiving freezer, I realized I had a variety of frozen vegetables I’d like to do something with because I’m not going to make them individually just for myself.

That’s when “soup!” came into my mind. I’ll have some for myself and some to share with friends, which is why I make a big pot of it. It’s also great to freeze in quart-size Ziplock bags for a no-trouble supper or lunch. Just add a salad or a toasted roll and you’re in business.

My only word of advice is to refrain from adding the chicken until the soup’s almost done. Otherwise, it will cook out all its juices and taste dry, even in the midst of the broth.

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How to make tuna-bean salad like a New Orleans native

Patsy R. Brumfield The Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

I have no idea where tuna-bean salad came from originally, but my half-French grandmother, the willful and beautiful Rosalie Dial, made it first in my experience.

It’s another summertime favorite because you can use it to stuff gorgeous, ripe red tomatoes or atop crispy cucumbers or just on crackers. It is yummy.

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How to make ratatouille

Patsy R. BrumfieldThe Southfacin' Cook

Patsy R. Brumfield
The Southfacin’ Cook

RATATOUILLE (pronounced RAT-tuh-TOO-ee)

For you Gen Xers or Yers, this is not a recipe about a rat, who directs a clueless chef in a French restaurant. Actually, I didn’t even see that movie, but I’ve seen trailers.

Ratatouille is a veggie melange or medley that makes a great side for almost any main dish. It also keeps well in the fridge to microwave for lunch or a snack.

I like it because it’s tasty and fun to make. This approach comes from “Ten Dollar Dinners” cook Melissa D’Arabian, who married a Frenchman and advises it’s made in a special order required by her mother-in-law: Remember EZPOT.

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